The current trucking capacity shortage is not only forcing shippers to pay higher rates but also to look for new sources for moving freight. This situation has opened the door for small- and medium-size fleets to expand in size and fill the void. Why not follow the lead of larger carriers which know the best route to growth is by saving on operating costs and optimizing productivity?
With trucking capacity nearing 100% and shippers scrambling to find companies to move their freight, it looks like an excellent time for small- and medium-sized fleets to take some big steps to capitalize on the current situation. It’s time for smaller fleets to think big.
By managing operating costs and seeking out opportunities for savings, smaller fleets can build the capital they need to expand their business. There are several ways that larger fleets stay competitive and optimize productivity. Smaller fleet owners should take a page out of their playbook. Here are some smart steps that can help small and medium fleets succeed:
- Join in a procurement program that leverages the combined buying power of hundreds of other fleets, giving the smaller player the advantages enjoyed by larger corporations. It’s a great way for a small- and medium-sized fleet to save significantly on fleet equipment, parts and supplies. Look for programs that streamline the invoicing and payment process through electronic processing technology. By doing so, fleets can also save on the costs associated with labor-intensive accounts payable systems that may have been in place for many years.
- Use accumulated historic data to determine if current equipment is being utilized cost-effectively. This data should cover fuel and maintenance expenditures, utilization patterns, and the costs of financing. It may be surprising to learn that holding onto a fully owned, reliable 2006 Class 8 truck does not make the best financial sense. Understanding all the ramifications of the true cost of ownership – and adopting a new strategy when necessary – could end up saving a fleet thousands of dollars.
- Find out the true value of the vehicles in the fleet. If it’s time to sell used vehicles, it’s essential to find the best remarketing resources to assure that top dollar is paid. If it makes more sense to buy some used vehicles to incorporate into the fleet, it’s as important to use a service that finds top-quality vehicles at the best prices.
- Consider turning to a logistics consultant to analyze an existing transportation program and develop new, cost-saving ways to use drivers and equipment more efficiently. Make sure the consultant/company can then actually deliver on their recommendations. This is a major differentiator and can lead to not only major savings but dramatically improve customer service and satisfaction as well.
- Look for a source of roadside rescue and assistance that can handle all of the drivers’ needs and can get the vehicles back on the road as fast as possible, regardless of location or time of day, to keep downtime at an absolute minimum. The best service providers should deliver not only quick and reliable response but also electronic record-keeping and reporting, extensive mapping integration to vendor locations, and a robust data management system.
By drawing on the expertise and resources that a fleet management services provider offers, small- and medium-size fleets can gain access to critical advantages when dealing with challenges such as rising fuel costs, changing legislations and continuing economic uncertainty. By taking the biggest first step – turning to a fleet management services provider – smaller fleets may soon find they are ready to jump on the potential business there is out there today.
For more information on how your fleet can start saving on operating costs and optimize productivity, visit the AmeriQuest Transportation Services Website.